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Fri 12th May, 2017 will be...

Dates

  • 12th May, 2017
  • 10th May, 2016
  • 21st May, 2015

There are so many things so many of us take for granted on an everyday basis that millions of people in the world are forced to live without, such as electricity and medical care. There are also many extremely simple and basic things that might not even come to mind when thinking about how lucky we are to live where we do because we have never, ever had to do without them. Shoes are one of them.

Try. Just for a second, try to imagine doing virtually any of the things you do on an everyday basis without shoes. How many sharp little stones and even pieces of glass would you likely get stuck in your feet during a short walk to the store or to work? How would you ever kick a ball without bending your toes painfully backwards? And how much more at risk would your feet be of becoming infected when the millions of bacteria the ground is covered with got into even a tiny cut or over-scratched mosquito bite? In other words, life without shoes is much less comfortable and much more dangerous, yet it is estimated that around 300 million people in the world today are so impoverished that they cannot afford shoes. One Day Without Shoes Day was created to help people who have never known such extreme poverty put themselves in the proverbial shoes of those who are forced to go without every day, raise awareness about the problem and money to combat it.

The History of One Day Without Shoes Day

One Day Without Shoes Day was created by the Californian company Toms Shoes to encourage people to pay more attention to the numerous problems a lack of shoes can cause in the lives of impoverished children. It all started when Blake Mycoskie, the owner of Toms Shoes, visited Argentina in 2006 and noticed that many of the children were running through the streets barefooted. Soon, he discovered that a lack of shoes was a wider problem in Argentina as well as other developing countries and he decided that he wanted to use his shoe company to help them, especially because the lack of shoes often had a serious impact on those childrens’ lives by discouraging them from attending school and making it much easier for them to contract various infections. Mycoskie then came up with the “one for one” business model, meaning that for every pair of shoes his company sold, it would provide a new pair of shoes free of charge to the shoeless youth of Argentina and other developing countries. The first 10,000 pairs of free shoes were distributed in to Argentinian children in October 2006.

How to Celebrate One Day Without Shoes Day

The best way to celebrate this day is to make the decision to go without shoes for a day just so you can see for yourself how much a few pieces of leather and rubber can change a life for the better. You could also convince a few friends or family members to do the same—the more people become aware of the problem, the better. Of course, you could also make a point of purchasing a pair of shoes from Toms so another pair can be donated to an impoverished child somewhere. If you don’t need another pair of shoes, you can go through your closet in search of both shoes and clothes you don’t wear anymore that are still in good condition and then donate them directly to organizations devoted to helping clothe the less fortunate. Any little thing you do can help!

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